Dark Fantasy was a short series with tales of the weird, adventures of the supernatural, created for you by Scott Bishop. The series aired as a horror drama on NBC between 1941 and 1942.
Dark Fantasy was a series dedicated to dealings with the unknown. Originating from radio station WKY, Oklahoma City, it was written by Scott Bishop (of Mysterious Traveler and The Sealed Book fame) and was heard Fridays over stations. Tom Paxton served as announcer. The shows covered horror, science fiction and murder mysteries. Although a short series, the shows are excellent with some stories way ahead of their time. The following is a news promo promoting the show:
Every since Lights Out went out several years ago, fans of the fiendish have been clamoring for more good old goose-pimple horror drama on the air. Now they have it. One of the programs that currently freezes the airwaves with its chilling stories is Dark Fantasy comparatively new to the networks. In the late hours of Friday nights these shivery, shocking stories go out over NBC - right straight from Oklahoma City, which you might not have thought of as headquarters for haunts. Station WKY is the home of the Dark Fantasy plays, and the writer is Scott Bishop, who lives in the midst of mystery and the supernatural, represented by the innurnerable volumes of thriller fiction, fantasy lore and all kinds of horror literature that fill his home andhis office. Bishop has long contributed to network broadcasting and to magazines. He says, "Give the listener enough material to let his imagination go to work, and he'll supply his own goose-pimples." Dark Fantasy has been furnishing plenty of such material since last November. And judging from enthusiastic comment, the horror fans are responding with goose-pimples galore! Tune in every Friday on Station WKY Oklahoma City.
NOTE: Updated Release! Title corrections and other miscellaneous changes (16-Mar-2011).
From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.
This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.
Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that is Certified Complete is the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implies that all the files in the series are Certified Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.
OTRR Non-Certified -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Certification process.
June 14, 2016 Subject:
Good Horror show
Some of the plots are pretty thin and I imagine that the production values were pretty low, but all things considered, Dark Fantasy is consistently creepy and unsettling. Generally the actors are pretty good and there are some truly great plots. A little sad that there aren't more episodes.
June 8, 2016 Subject:
@Out Of Stone, considering the age of these programs I think the people who transfer them are doing a job commensurate with the data they have to work with and therefor it may not be the fault of the person doing the work. You are welcome to try to present a more acceptable recording transfer of the broadcasts in question, as I am sure you can do better. Good luck, we look forward to your uploading of your transfer, one that will meet your expectations.
Reviewer:Out of Stone
April 30, 2013 Subject:
Transfers of some of the episodes are atrocious - Debt from the Past and The Headless Dead, for instance, are of such inferior quality with their low bit-rates resulting in mangled audio that it makes for rubbish. Amateurs who make shoddy transfers ought to be shot.
Anyway, Dark Fantasy can be very affecting. The audio-play is so artificial and stilted that it becomes almost a work of art... a minimalist dreamscape.
October 12, 2011 Subject:
Well said "Shadows Girl" I agree completely!
October 11, 2011 Subject:
"Wooden cast? Bad Writing?" No..Just stupid reviewers.
Scott Bishop, who was a well-known and wildly popular mystery writer back in the day (Hell, you could hardly pick up a copy of BLACK MASK, MICHAEL SHAYNE, ALFRED HITCHCOCK, or ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE without running across a story by him.
The cast includes Ben Morris(who also took over the role of "Pat Novak" in PAT NOVAK FOR HIRE from Jack Webb) was in THOUSANDS of old time radio programs "BROADWAY IS MY BEAT also comes to mind.
The rest of the in-house cast, including the lovely and talented Eleanor Naylor Caughron (whose last name has been mis-spelled in just about EVERY possible way) Fred Wayne, Tom Paxton, Garland Moss, and Murillo Scofield are usually pretty damn good.
The cry of "Cliche" is ridiculous when aimed at any of these old shows.
IF YOU WERE WRITING A STORY TODAY AND USED THESE THE CRITICISM MIGHT BE VALID
But cliches only BECOME cliches because they work so well and a lot of them originated with THIS show.
To be a fan of OTR (like being a fan of old horror films) the FIRST TRICK is to try to put yourself in the place of a listener or viewer BACK THEN.
You haven't encountered these plot devices before so they aren't CLICHES to YOU.
They scare the HELL out of you.
Especially when you listen to them late at night (well, after 10 PM) like the audiences were back then...with the lights out and your eyes shut to help you VISUALIZE what's happening.
If you can't contribute YOUR part to this "Theater of the Imagination"---if, in other words, you have no imagination...then go watch some piece of crap CGI movie down at the local theater.
And, right at the end, when the Monster you thought was dead, suddenly does a "Carrie" on you and leaps up again...remember where you met that cliche first.
And it wasn't in CARRIE...it was in those old movies and old time radio...and, most especially, it was in the Realm that is
November 29, 2010 Subject:
A Toast To The Radio Auteurs
I write here as a professional author who works mainly in the field of audio drama (yes, it's still an ongoing popular, LIVING medium, here in the UK certainly), for the likes of BBC radio, Big Finish (their new Lovecraftian Doctor Who, Lurkers At Sunlight's Edge) and most recently "Blood & Stone" for 3Dhorrorfi. And I just want to put on record how much these great auteurs of 40s horror drama such as Scott Bishop and Arch Oboler mean to me, how much they continue to inspire me: other horror writers can have Stephen King et al for their role models; these guys are mine and I'm so grateful to the Archive for making their work available (I only recently became a member, but I've been listening for over a year now). The important thing is that they and their work aren't just relics of a bygone age, of only nostalgia value in the modern world, but the instigators of an ONGOING tradition. As one small contributor to that tradition's continuing, I salute these guys, wherever they may be.
November 25, 2010 Subject:
At the Top... Dark Fantasy!
Top honors must be given to Scott Bishop's fine series, Dark Fantasy. This is one of the finest series ever aired in the horror genre. As is the case WITH ALL RADIO SERIES, some shows are better than others... Mr Bishop had the ability to craft shows week after week, of the highest caliber... Few if any, could be labeled mediocre. Unless someone has been in a situation, where they have had to come up with new material EVERY WEEK, it is difficult to appreciate the genius of Mr Bishop's solo work.
Mr Bishop's series demonstrates his inclusion into an elite class of writers and producers that would have to include such notables as Arch Oboler and Orson Welles. Many of Mr Bishop's plays could air in 2010, and there wouldn't be a clue that it wasn't contemporary, let alone give hints to the fact that this body of work is nearly SEVENTY YEARS OF AGE! The writing and production of Dark Fantasy has few equals.
Many thanks to Mr Prelinger and the Old Time Radio Researchers' Group for making so many fine programs available!
October 11, 2010 Subject:
Turkey Sandwich with Extra Cheese
while Scott Bishop may have been a part of the classic Mysterious Traveler and The Sealed Book, he unfortunately didn't have his bosses at those series, writers Robert Arthur and David Kogan writing these episodes. These stories, for the most part, have hopeless plotting, wooden performances, and very sloppy scriptwriting - plot holes and contradictions abound in these stories as if they were written 20 minutes before airtime. (The planet Venuto? Give me a break!) In one story a character even changes her entire personality for no good reason! There are some exceptions ("Demon Tree" and "Pennsylvania Turnpike" are nice little chillers), and a few actually had some ideas which could've been improved with tighter writing ("Man With The Scarlet Satchel"), but for the most part these episodes sound like they were made by Dr. Uwe Boll. Those looking for excellent examples of radio horror and thrillers should check out shows like Mysterious Traveler, Suspense, Murder At Midnight and The Clock - this show is merely a curio and a DON'T example of how to write a horror script.
January 3, 2010 Subject:
A fantastic show!
I love these fantasy/horror shows. Kudos to the great folks at the Old Time Researchers Group!
June 14, 2009 Subject:
One of the best OTR Horror shows right there with Lights Out and Quiet, Please... Thanks for the Upload!
yotam der keine heilige -
July 23, 2008 Subject:
I love it!
while today the radio story-telling can be found only in some radio station which are highly naive or highly experimental, the OTR project is a living proof to the its' golden age.
oh, of course that a lot of these episodes have a not-so-subliminal moral, but here the fact that once radio was considered widely as a mind provoking thing and done in exellent quality is what's important.
dark fantasy is a great example for what non-muxical radio programs should be like. thank you for it.
Each episode of Dark Fantasy is a seperate story and they all have different subjects. The writer has a nice talent for leaving the story just at a point where you want more, but the meat of the story has been told. It's an odd situation I guess, but still satisfying.
As with any series some episodes are better than others and I can especially rec' "The Demon Tree" and "W is for Werewolf".
With this being an Old Time Radio show, it suffers in the sound quality, with many episodes having lost the higher quarter of the audio spectrum, making some difficult to follow. I've found that these episodes are easier to listen to when using headphones. To reflect this I've lowered the "Reading" score.